In response to the Jan. 21 letter “Strength in physician numbers”: I would like to share where Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina stands on contracting with independent medical practices.
BCBSNC works hard to earn the loyalty of our customers by providing quality products at affordable prices. We are not a monopoly by any definition– nor would we claim to be. In fact, we have multiple competitors in every line of business.
We have a record of collaborating with physicians and hospitals to support independent practices and community hospitals. One of our company’s top priorities is to ensure all North Carolinians have access to high quality, affordable health care.
We understand that independent physicians increase access to care for our state and our customers. However, we are aware that many independent physicians struggle and that working as part of a larger medical system may make more sense financially. BCBSNC pioneered programs to help primary practices move toward Patient Centered Medical Homes. We’ve helped fund e-prescribing and electronic medical records at independent primary practices.
Programs like the Blue Quality Physician Program are another way we work to help practices improve quality and patient experience, and we pay them more. To date, 531 N.C. primary care doctors have taken advantage of the BQPP.
We welcome productive discussion based in fact about how to improve health care in North Carolina.
Don W. Bradley, M.D.
Senior vice president, health care, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of N.C.